What Would Happen If the 20 Biggest US Cities Were Wiped Out With Nukes

Wiping out an American city, much less the largest ones, requires either blast yields well beyond the capability of any terrorist organization, or numbers of nuclear weapons that would make the terrorist organization one of the largest nuclear powers on the planet. This is particularly true of major cities such as… » 10/14/14 1:10pm 10/14/14 1:10pm

One Reason the US Isn't Destroying All Its Nukes: Killer Asteroids

Among the few apocalypses worse than nuclear annihilation, asteroid impact has got to be near the top of the list—at least if Hollywood's depictions are any indication. Luckily, the American public has at least one agency defending it against errant space rocks: the exact same agency that's supposed to be protecting… » 10/01/14 6:40pm 10/01/14 6:40pm

How Historians Are Using Nuclear Fallout to Find Fake Art

Today's modern art forger is capable of producing fake works of art so perfect that even trained experts are unable to spot them. Even down to the most minute details of the pigments, binders, and canvass, these fakes are almost better than the works they're based on. But thanks to a byproduct of the Atomic age, the… » 6/10/14 2:00pm 6/10/14 2:00pm

America's Tactical Nukes Are Worth Twice Their Weight in Gold

The GBU-57A-B is by far America's biggest bunker buster, but it's not actually our most powerful one. That acclaim goes to the deep diving, hard hitting, supersonic B-61 tactical nuclear bomb. And we're about to spend more than $11 billion to ensure they stay on the front lines through the middle of the next decade. » 4/25/14 11:40am 4/25/14 11:40am

Orange Herald: The Bomb Behind Britain's Worst Nuclear Disaster

In the aftermath of the Second World War, it quickly became evident to the British government that Americans had no intention of sharing their newly acquired nuclear weapons technology despite the UK's assistance in the Manhattan Project. As such the British government set about building its own atomic arsenal which… » 2/10/14 11:40am 2/10/14 11:40am

How the US Invented Dirty Bombs to Stop the Soviet Advance in Europe

The thought of mutually assured destruction in the form of worldwide nuclear annihilation made leaders on both sides of the Iron Curtain squeamish. But, limited nuclear war, now there was a plan! Irradiating the Soviets just a little bit, you know, as a deterrent, was seen as the clearly superior option to outright… » 2/05/14 2:20pm 2/05/14 2:20pm

New Google Earth Hack Lets You Nuke Any City in Devastating 3D

A perverse fascination with nuclear fallout and blast radii isn't that weird. Don't you want to know how hard you and everything you know is going to disappear from the face of the Earth in the unlikely case that some maniac drops twenty kilotons of atomic death on your front door? Now you can see a simulation of the… » 7/22/13 9:57am 7/22/13 9:57am

How Fallout from Nuke Tests Just Proved that Brain Cells Regenerate

Before the Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1963 barred all aboveground, subsea, and orbital nuclear weapons testing, the world's nations were popping off nukes like champagne bottles on New Years. Surprisingly, that sprinkling of high-energy particles was actually quite beneficial, to science at least, as it's just helped… » 6/08/13 4:00pm 6/08/13 4:00pm

Princeton Nuke Detector Could Spot World-Ending Warheads

The US and USSR had more than 60,000 nuclear warheads pointed at each other at the height of the Cold War. While the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970 and START in 1994 have shrunk that figure to around 26,000, nobody is really sure how many still exist—because nobody’s ever actually verified the number of warheads,… » 4/30/13 11:30am 4/30/13 11:30am

How NASA's Nuclear Rockets Will Take Us Way Beyond Mars

The first people to step on to the surface of Mars won't arrive aboard the chemical-fueled rockets that delivered Apollo 11 to the Moon—they simply don't provide enough thrust to get to the Red Planet before exposing their crews to months of dangerous space radiation. Instead, NASA is turning to long-ignored… » 4/02/13 11:34am 4/02/13 11:34am